Sunday, April 1, 2012

Two types of Calvinists

I have elsewhere posted this, that one of the problems that comes from a heritage of systematic theology like Calvinists have is their tendency to forget the narrative element in the Bible. It seems there are two kinds of Calvinists: those who hold the systematic subordinate to the narrative and those who don't.  To be sure, it's important to have a knowledge of the facts about Christ, but these find their place in knowing Him personally. If my wife didn't know anything about me I couldn't very well say she knows me at all, but on the other hand, if she collected a large number of facts about me just to do that I couldn't say she really loves me either. After all, I may know a great deal about something and hate it (see Satan).
The facts are essential to supporting the relationship, but the relationship must be supreme in importance. This is pretty straightforward.

Therefore, if you learn Calvinism as TULIP, as a five point yes/no, black/white, on/off, agree/disagree set of doctrinal points you run the very real risk of losing your love for Christ. Instead of realizing the end of the knowledge is for some purpose, the adherence to it becomes the end in itself. Lines are drawn in the sand. Arminians stop becoming baby Christians in need of solid teaching and become the enemy whom we must fight against.
Its easy to do it, it's seductive, but it's ultimately harmful and makes us into the bitter roaming gangs of the blogosphere ready to cast stones. Our knowledge of Christ exists for His sake, not ours.

4 comments:

THEOparadox said...

Well put, Phil. I can't totally agree with your characterization of Arminians (partly because I think many of them KNOW Christ personally in a more mature way than many of us Calvinists), but I totally and heartily agrere with the rest. Thanks for posting.

Blessings,
Derek

David said...

Phil: "Its easy to do it, it's seductive, but it's ultimately harmful and makes us into the bitter roaming gangs of the blogosphere ready to cast stones."

David: very well said and so true.

April Miller said...

Very well said, Phil.

And Derek, you make a very interesting point about Arminians. That will have me pondering today. :)

Unknown said...

Well done Phil.